Sunday 28 June 2020

Parkour: Elise Bickley

This if the first non-coronavirus story I've reported on since lockdown and it was a great pleasure to film with parkour star Elise Bickley. She's one of the best female parkour athletes in the world and yet she’s just fifteen years old. I couldn't believe some of the tricks she pulled off while I was filming -  it's like she's got springs in her trainers! To film this story I used my normal JVC camera as well as my iPhone on a gimbal (which keeps the shot steady).

BBC Copyright

Sunday 21 June 2020


I reported on a mural that's been painted of a little known Sheffield woman who was influential in ending the slave trade. Mary Anne Rawson was the founding member of the Sheffield Female Anti-Slavery Society in 1825.

BBC Copyright

Wednesday 17 June 2020

Virtual Racing - Oliver Rowland

Motor racing is one of the many sports that is yet to re-start following the coronavirus lock down. However organisers of Formula E – the electric car version of Formula One – came up with an innovative way of keeping drivers racing. They’ve been holding an virtual version of the competition where drivers race on simulators in their homes. Barnsley’s Oliver Rowland won the latest Race at Home Challenge stage.

BBC Copyright

Sunday 14 June 2020

Homeless Mobile Phones

I've been reporting on a new scheme where homeless people in Rotherham are being given mobile phones and tablets to help them stay in touch with support services while their drop-in centre is closed because of lockdown. The NHS has funded forty rough sleepers being given the devices to help ward off isolation. One homeless man told me the phone has been a life saver.

BBC Copyright

Wednesday 10 June 2020

Care Home Drive-Thru

I had tears in my eyes as we filmed socially distanced drive-thru visits by families of care home residents at Sycamores in Wakefield. They'd not seen each-other for 10 weeks because of coronavirus lockdown. It was very moving.

Sunday 7 June 2020

How to be a better parent

This post is off-topic but I wanted to share some wisdom I've gained to fellow parents.

During lockdown I've been spending a lot more time with my two children than usual which has been lovely (most of the time!) but at times challenging. It's made me keen to work on how I can be a better parent and after a recommendation from a colleague, I've read this book, ‘If I Have To Tell You One More Time’ by Amy McCready. I've learnt a huge amount including about how to deal with challenging behaviour like tantrums. After talking to fellow parents about the book I was asked by one of them to write a summary of the books recommendations and here they are:

- Mind, Body and Soul Time which I call ‘Special Time’. Set aside10 minutes twice a day to spend with each child individually, doing what they want to do, completely focusing on them so that they get the attention that they crave. No screens allowed (e.g. them watching TV or you looking at your phone). It fosters a strong sense of belonging and significance (their 2 emotional needs). Label the start and end of special time using a timer.

- Use your calm voice as much as possible, even if you don’t feel calm! When you speak calmly, you reduce the intensity level and invite cooperation.

- Instead of praise, encourage your child e.g. instead of “good boy”, use “good effort”, “well done for trying so hard” or “thank you for helping me make the table”. Use encouraging phrases regularly to bolster your child’s significance and reinforce positive behaviour.

- Take time for Training e.g. how to brush their teeth, tidy their bedroom, get dressed. The goal of parenting is to teach your child how to behave and equip them through practical knowledge and skills for greater independence.

- Everyone should contribute towards the running of the household. Even small children need to be given things to help = family contributions. 2-3 year olds can tidy away toys, wash veg, stir, help set the table and help clean their place at the table.

- Invite cooperation (similar to the above, ask them to join in with helping).

- Use When-Then. "When you finish picking up your toys, then we'll go to the park".

- Use either/or consequences (either you eat your peas or you get no dessert).

- Choices. Offering meaningful choices throughout the day gives positive power and the feeling that the child has some control over their life. Give them 2 options if possible e.g. “Would you like a tuna sandwich or a cheese sandwich for lunch?”

- Avoid the parent ego state as much as possible = limit ordering, directing and correcting your children as it leads to power struggles.

- Avoid labelling your children e.g. “he’s the bright one, she’s the sporty one”.

- Have consistent routines so that the child knows what to expect.

- Allow natural and logical consequences to happen so that the child learns from mistakes. Ask the child to repeat to you what the consequences will be e.g. if they refuse to wear their coat on a very cold day go with it.

- Tell your child what you won't pay attention to (e.g. whining while you're cooking). Ignore any such actions, and train appropriate behaviour (talk to me in a normal voice and either help me or play quietly beside me while I cook).

- If you need to get something important done while your child/children are around, schedule special time with them just before it so that they have their attention bucket filled. Also tell them that you won't be paying attention to them during the time you need to get something done but what they can do during that time.

- Walk away from tantrums.

- Ignore undue-attention requests e.g. demand for help with something the child can do himself or constant clinginess every time you need to concentrate on a task at hand. This needs to be done in collaboration with other positive methods above including special time, training your child in appropriate behaviour and revealing in advance what you will and won’t do.

- If you’re angry or upset with them, say “I feel...when you...I’d like it if you…” (This is also good advice for adult relationships!)

- Hold a family meeting every week. Sundays might be a good day to do it. Keep it up beat. Talk about how everyone’s doing and what you’ve got coming up.

- When a misbehaviour appears make sure you keep in mind that all behaviours are goal-oriented. Your child is seeking a sense of belonging and significance which is a child’s hard wired-emotional needs.

- Teach a child to not always need external compliments but to be proud of their own accomplishments (e.g. "You must have felt so happy when you finally cycled round the whole of the bike track without any help.") Encourage them but don’t overly praise them.

I hope you've got something from these ideas. I've found a lot of this advice is not only good for how to parent but also how to have good adult relationships too!